Py­att high­lights im­por­tance of Souda navy base

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

US Am­bas­sador Ge­of­frey Py­att has once again high­lighted the strate­gic im­por­tance that the base at Souda Bay in Crete has for Wash­ing­ton, de­scrib­ing it as a model of bi­lat­eral mil­i­tary co­op­er­a­tion.

Speak­ing at a re­cep­tion yes­ter­day evening mark­ing 242 years since the found­ing of the Amer­i­can navy, Py­att said Greece and the US are two al­lies that are pur­su­ing sim­i­lar goals.

The growth, he said, of the base from just 16 per­son­nel in 1969 to ap­prox­i­mately 250 com­mis­sioned and en­listed per­son­nel and ap­prox­i­mately 650 US and lo­cal na­tional civil­ians and con­trac­tors to­day re­flects the grow­ing de­fense co­op­er­a­tion between the two na­tions, as well as the strate­gic im­por­tance of the base. “Re­cent mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions have fur­ther un­der­lined Souda’s sig­nif­i­cance in the Mediter­ranean,” he said, adding that the base is ded­i­cated to tak­ing care of the fleet and air­borne op­er­a­tions in this strate­gi­cally crit­i­cal area of the world, and to deep­en­ing co­op­er­a­tion with “our Greek al­lies.” “This is where the rub­ber meets the road,” he said.

His re­marks came a few hours be­fore Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras left for a five­day visit to the US and is in­dica­tive of the pos­i­tive cli­mate that ex­ists between Athens and Wash­ing­ton. Souda Bay will also fea­ture in the talks that will take place between the team ac­com­pa­ny­ing Tsipras and US of­fi­cials about de­fense and se­cu­rity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.